World Companies Need a Language Lesson

The world's top companies fail to respond adequately to foreign language email messages, despite a continual increase in the variety of languages used by Internet users.

According to the Quarterly WorldLingo Email Survey - April 2001 most of the world's 250 largest companies do not respond effectively to email messages that are not in their native language.

The email messages were written in the following languages - German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, or Japanese.

This was the second Email Language Survey conducted by WorldLingo, and there was a reduction in the response rate.

Only 8.9% of the companies surveyed answered the email message correctly and in the same language as the original message.

This compared disappointingly with the poor result from the first survey, which received 9.4% correct responses.

The results indicated that the world's biggest companies are poorly prepared to deal with the growing number of non-English speaking Internet users, which now make up over half of all Internet users (Global Reach).

The worse response rates came from Australia (0%), Japan (2.50%), and The USA (6.00%).

France (16.00%), Germany (16.00%) and the UK (8.00%) were only marginally better. The best response rate came from Italy (27.77%).

The companies that did not respond at all to the email were some of the world's corporate heavy weights.

They include Wal-Mart Stores (US), Ford Motor (US), BP Amoco (UK), Daimler Chrysler (German), and Mitsui and Co (Japan).

The fastest response came from energy sources company ENI (Italian) who replied in 4 hours and 20 minutes to an email written in Portuguese.

WorldLingo, an online language translation company, has an inexpensive and time efficient solution to email translation, according to Phil Scanlan.

Mr. Scanlan, WorldLingo's Chairman, said the email message could have been answered correctly and quickly using WorldLingo's low cost email translation service. The service is easily integrated into existing mail systems.

"After implementing WorldLingo's translation system, the company will automatically receive a machine translation of the foreign language email, allowing the receiver to ascertain the importance of the message," he said.

"If the message is deemed important enough to be human translated, the company can accept WorldLingo's automatic quote which is provided with each translation."

The languages that received the worse responses were Japanese (0% replies), and Portuguese (8.10%), while the email messages written in Spanish received the best response (18.42%).


About WorldLingo

WorldLingo is a leading provider of integrated, online translation solutions. The company's services range from cost effective machine translation solutions, to professional human translation and culturally sensitive localization. A global network of over 5,000 professional translators produces human translations. WorldLingo also offers unique, real-time translation solutions for two-way email and instant messaging. These solutions make it easy for businesses and professionals to interact with internal and external multilingual audiences anywhere in the world. By combining accurate and cost effective translation, WorldLingo is taking great strides towards breaking down language barriers in the world of commerce.

WorldLingo produces thousands of translations every day. Clients include AT&T, Sony, Eli Lilly, Belkin, Cadbury Schweppes, Qualcomm, Priceline, and Tribal DDB. WorldLingo is also an official supplier of translation services to the European Union. In addition, Microsoft has integrated WorldLingo's technology into Office XP and Word 2002. WorldLingo is a global organisation with offices in the US, Australasia and Europe.

For more information: contact WorldLingo